Ethical Culture Fieldston School is a progressive PreK-12 independent school that has been serving students from throughout New York City and the surrounding suburbs since 1878. ECFS offers a rich curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A co-ed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of about 1,700 students on two campuses—one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and the other in Manhattan.
What is essential about working at our school?
The Ethical Culture Fieldston School has a long history of equity and inclusion deeply rooted in our mission and the educational philosophy of our founder Felix Adler. We embrace diversity of ancestry, family, identity, culture, and belief and seek a student body and faculty who reflect the pluralism and socio-economic diversity of metropolitan New York. We affirm both our differences and commonalities and strive to balance individuality and community. In keeping with our progressive tradition, we are dedicated to increasing our students’ cultural literacy to help them understand multiple perspectives and see the world beyond the self. We expect members of our community to engage in open dialogue about living and learning in a diverse environment inside and outside the classroom. We see this work with its creative tensions as a catalyst for individual and collective growth. On a daily basis, we are committed to making this vision of a democratic, pluralistic, and progressive school a reality.
Scope of Work
Ethical Culture Fieldston School (ECFS) is a vibrant and exciting educational community and one of the nation’s leading progressive schools. With new print materials, new visual identity, and new website in development, we are looking for a communications manager to craft new stories — and new ways of telling stories — as part of a next-generation communications office.
Our work in the communications office makes an ECFS experience more enriching for current students and families, more accessible for prospective students, and more inspiring for alumni. By telling the stories of our community in modern, fun, and engaging ways, we connect our families more strongly to our mission and to each other.
At ECFS, we are a passionate community of individuals who believe not only in our power to change the world, but in our responsibility to do so. We believe in work-life balance, honoring the humanity of every person on our campuses, and constantly pushing ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves.
We ask “should we?” as much as “can we?,” and we celebrate joy, kindness, and humility as much as we value excellence and productivity.
While you will likely spend the majority of your week on one of our two campuses, each member of the communications office will spend time on both. As communications manager, you’ll be a member of a three-person (and growing!) communications office. We work alongside a ten-person advancement office (alumni, fundraising, events), which means that in addition to faculty, staff, and student interaction, we deal often with parents, board members, and alumni. The school’s technology office provides guidance and technical support in our work, while also helping us tackle the larger ethical questions of how we should integrate digital tools into our lives. Communications is inherently collaborative, so while we each have clearly delineated responsibilities, our team will work closely together both on the strategic level and the day-to-day.
Your primary role as communications manager will be to write, assign, produce, and distribute stories about our community — everything from quick-turn reporting to longer features.
Beyond creating stories, you’ll provide broad communications support to the school: helping shape messages using communications best practices, identifying the right audiences for each email or publication, adapting stories and images to fit specific platforms, and then actually posting and distributing things. You should be fluent with modern tools in the vein of Mailchimp, Slack, Hootsuite, Google Analytics, and Photoshop.
This role is flexible, and we will fit some of the responsibilities to you and your talents. If you know how to use a camera, for instance, that’s great — we’ll send you out with some nice equipment. But these are the main components of the job as we see it:
Writing/Editing:Vital. Whatever else this role is, you’ll need to express yourself in words at all times. You can argue the value of an adverb. You can craft a sensitive email with as much panache as a celebratory feature. You read critically.
Technology:Vital. We believe in healthy approaches to technology, so no living on Twitter all day. But this role (alongside other members of the communications team) will be responsible for sharing content through our various digital channels, so you’ll need fluency with various social platforms, email, and website technologies.
Design:Helpful. This is not a design role, but there will be some production involved (adjusting images for publication, adapting campaigns for IG and Twitter, etc.). You have good taste. You judge a book at least partially by its cover. You know a serif from a sans-serif.
Coding:¯\_(?)_/¯ Beyond some basic HTML and comfort with a modern website CMS, you shouldn’t have to do any coding at all. But if you want to build an app, let’s talk. Could be fun.
Video/Audio: Optional. Not really necessary for the role as we imagine it, but if you have skills producing more advanced forms of media and want to try a video series or a podcast or something, let’s chat. There’s always room for creativity and magic.
You will also be an involved member of our school community. You will work closely with faculty, staff, parents, students, and alumni, helping to balance their needs and expectations and teaching them about best practices for communications. Your work will fall somewhere in the region of partner-promoter-mentor-service provider. As a member of the Advancement team, occasional evenings and weekend event work is required.
About Ethical Culture Fieldston School
Ethical Culture Fieldston School is a progressive preK-12 independent school serving students from throughout New York City and the surrounding suburbs. Committed to academic excellence, ethical learning, and progressive education, ECFS offers a rich and challenging curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A coed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of about 1,700 students from PreK to 12 on two campuses -- one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and the other in Manhattan.